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Ice Hockey - Manchester Phoenix 5-2 Milton Keynes Lightning
TITLE chasers Manchester Phoenix were forced to share the points after back to back games against Milton Keynes last weekend.
After going down 3-2 away on Saturday night, Phoenix bounced back at home the following evening with a 5-2 triumph in their first home game of 2013.
First period goals from James Archer and Luke Boothroyd put the home side 2-1 up at the first interval with Blaz Emersic replying for the visitors.
Man of the match Ondrej Pozivil restored Phoenix’s two goal cushion late in the second period with a break away goal but Kamil Tvrdek replied for the Lightning with just 13 seconds on the board of the final period.
Player coach Tony Hand calmed home nerves when he smashed home Phoenix’s fourth goal that went straight through Lightning netminder Alex Mettam’s defences Joachim Flaten added the insurance empty net goal in the final minute after the Lightning gambled on an extra forward.
Coach Hand said after the game: “It was important for the team to show a positive reaction from Saturday’s defeat and they certainly did that. I thought we came to play for the whole 60 minutes and deserved the points.”
This weekends games also served as the final games for forwards Ciaran Long and Derek Campbell.
Long, who signed for Phoenix last season, has netted nine goals this season and leaves the club for work reasons whilst Campbell who signed a short term deal last month to cover injuries has signed for Elite League side Coventry Blaze.
Hand said ‘I would like to thank Derek Campbell for his outstanding contribution during his short term loan.
‘He has been excellent and his points tally has been very important to us during the festive season as we keep tabs on the league leaders.”